(Duplicate of Jataka #99) The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. As he lay dying, his disciples asked what his spiritual attainment was. He told them, “I have won nothing.” They thought he meant this literally, so he had to come down from heaven to tell them he meant he had attained insight into the nothingness of things, one of the highest attainments.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. He saw a man who doubted his daughter’s chastity test her by asking to have sex. She refused, so he believed she was virtuous and was able to marry her off without fear of shame.
The Bodhisatta was once a wealthy merchant. One day while returning home he saw thieves on the road so he sped up and did not get robbed.
(Duplicate of Jataka #439) The Bodhisatta was once Indra, king of the gods. A merchant who rejected religion and mistreated his mother set out to sea on a trading voyage and was set adrift on a raft for bringing bad luck to the ship. He spent time on several islands with blissful spirits and then arrived in hell where he was forced to carry a heavy razor wheel on his head. The Bodhisatta told him this was his punishment for a life of greed.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. An elephant being tortured as part of its routine training escaped to the Himalayas and lived in constant fear until the Bodhisatta told him he should get over it.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. After his wife died, he took his son and began a new religious life in the Himalayas. Many years later a wicked woman came upon their home and she seduced the son, convincing him to return to civilization with her. There she ordered him around so much that he ran away back to the forest.
The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. The king’s chaplain was extremely talkative so the king hired a man with excellent aim to hide behind a curtain and use a peashooter to shoot goat dung down the chaplain’s throat to get him to stop talking.
The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. The king saw a fat, badly-dressed country woman stop to pee. Impressed by how quickly and modestly she did it, he made her his queen.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. A poor man felt ashamed for his humble offering of a rice-husk powder cake, but the Bodhisatta told him all offerings were appreciated. In return, the Bodhisatta told the man where to find buried treasure.
(Told in Jataka #546) The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. At age seven he judged a case of a stolen necklace by asking two women what fragrance they used for the necklace and the real owner was the woman who knew the correct scent.
(Told in Jataka #546) The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. At age seven, the Bodhisatta wisely explained to the king that fathers are not always better than their sons by comparing a regular donkey, worth very little, to a mule born to this donkey and a thoroughbred horse, which would be expensive.
(Told in Jataka #546) The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. When he met the woman who he would later marry, she gave directions to her house in the form of a riddle and he solved it.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. One night a jackal snuck into the city to feast and passed out. In the morning he could not safely leave, so he hired a greedy brahmin to carry him out under his robe and then did not pay him the promised money. The Bodhisatta mocked the foolish brahmin.
The Bodhisatta was once a fish. Two of his fish friends got caught in a net and the Bodhisatta freed them by tricking the fishermen.
The Bodhisatta was once a bird. One of the birds in his flock fed along a busy road and wanted to eat everything herself, so she told the other birds it was dangerous. Later she was run over by a carriage and the Bodhisatta told the others she died due to her greed.
The Bodhisatta was once an acrobat. One day his teacher decided to do the five-javelin dance even though he had never practiced it. The Bodhisatta warned him against it, but to no avail. He impaled himself and died.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. One of his companions was chopping wood and another kept telling him how to chop better. This angered him so much he killed the talkative ascetic. After this, a hunter heard a bird singing and shot it. The Bodhisatta told his followers that both had died because they talked too much.
The Bodhisatta was once a quail. He and others were caught and taken to be fattened up for sale. But the Bodhisatta refused to eat, and when the man took him out of the cage to examine him, he flew back to the forest.
The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. His school had a rooster that crowed at inappropriate times and disrupted the students, so they killed it.
The Bodhisatta was once a king’s chaplain. The queen tried to seduce him, but he refused and in anger she got the king to order his execution. But when he told the king what really happened he was spared and went to live as an ascetic.
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